Quieting the Noise

To really begin this journey of cultivating a life of intention and grace, we must first quiet the noise in our lives in order to lessen the distractions. I’m not talking about locking all of the kids in the playroom for a few hours so that you can just simply put a thought together, although that has crossed my mind a time or two.

I’m talking about those things we turn to when we don’t want to think or do.

We all have things we turn to when we want to tune out. Books, television, music, food, social media, shopping: the list could go on. And while these activities are all good and pleasurable things, when they begin to be used in excess as a means to escape our present reality, they simply become a tool of distraction.

Too often we are afraid of quiet. Afraid of stillness and silence. We don’t want to be alone with our thoughts because we feel overwhelmed by all of the things that we need to deal with and the areas of our lives that we need to work on. So we turn up the volume on the noise and turn to our tools of distraction, saying with Scarlett O’Hara…

“I can’t think about that right now, if I do I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

But tomorrow, we say the same thing. And before we realize it, months and even years go by, and nothing has changed as we continue to distract ourselves and tune out.

Maybe you have some big dreams and goals, but you are overwhelmed by the details, so you just keep putting them off for someday.

Maybe you have had some setbacks and disappointments that you have not allowed yourself to fully grieve and they are keeping you from moving forward.

Maybe you are unhappy with your weight and you find it easier to continue numbing the pain with food than to take those first steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

That was me about 6 months ago.

I was overweight and unhappy. Most of my evenings were spent on the sofa watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix and eating warm Tollhouse cookies.  I had been fit and healthy when I got pregnant with my second son in 2009. He was born in February of 2010, and right about the time I started taking off the baby weight, my father was tragically killed and I fell into a mild depression that lasted over two years. Rather than dealing with my grief, I turned to food, television, books, and social media. Anything to keep me distracted from my reality.

About 6 months ago, I realized that if I wanted to see real change in my life, I would need to get intentional. I decided to lessen the distractions and start dealing with my issues. I turned off the television, stopped buying the cookies, and started taking care of myself. I am now happy to say that I have lost 40 pounds and am training for a half-marathon. I am starting to dream big dreams again and have regained an excitement and hope for my future.

And it all started with a simple thought. A thought of intention which led to one small decision after another which then gained momentum like a snowball and now I am running forward and not looking back.

Cultivating Intention:

  • Can you identify your go-to tools of distraction?
  • What triggers you to turn to those tools? Stress, physical exhaustion, negative emotions, an overwhelming to do list, thinking about your long term goals?
  • If you were to grab a piece of paper right now, could you list out some of the things that you have locked away in the recesses of your mind to deal with “tomorrow”?

Cultivating Grace:

“Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

To begin living a life of intention and grace, you are going to have to quiet the noise and allow yourself time to think about things and deal with certain issues. And when the thinking and dealing gets overwhelming, instead of turning to your usual tools of distraction, I encourage you instead to turn to your heavenly Father so that He can give you the strength that you need in order to take the steps toward being the woman He has created and called you to be.

Always,

Amanda

This post is Day 2 of the 31 day series I am writing on cultivating a life of intention and grace. For a complete index of posts in this series, click here. To read more 31 Days series, please visit The Nester.

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Comments

  1. Such insight! Distractions definitely get in the way of even the best intentions. Awesome reminder that sometimes we need to log off/unplug and meet life head on!

  2. Found your blog through the 31 Days link up!

    If there is one thing I need more of, it is GRACE. I can’t really give it to myself, but I can certainly be seeking it, living in it, and extending it to others. God’s grace brought me here and it is God’s grace that will bring me through.

    Looking forward to your series. Thanks for sharing.

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      Victoria, we will seek it, live in it, and extend it together! I’m so glad you found my blog. 🙂

  3. This post is so good! I have numbed myself with food and tv in the past although I’m getting better at both, it is absolutely about what you put your mind to. Nothing happens without that decision to take action instead of just dreaming. I just love how you put it!

  4. I’m loving all of your insight, Amanda!! For me personally, I’m feeling very overwhelmed right now because we just started homeschooling this year and I’m fighting to find balance between being teacher, wife, and mommy. Focusing on being intentional about my different roles is really helping me to make it through the difficult time. 😀

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      I am right there with you! I started homeschooling my two boys and two nieces this year, and balancing all of that with keeping the house, regular mothering duties, ministry, and quality time with my husband can be so overwhelming. Being intentional in all of my roles (along with saying no to a few other things) has really helped me as well.

  5. Kudos on the weight loss. I amall about intention, but sometimes being intentional every single day is SO hard! I am training for the Houston 1/2 marathon in January.

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